When putting in the garden this year, I planted a Lemon Basil plant along with the usual Sweet Basil. For the most part, I have been combining it with the Sweet Basil to make pesto, various caprese's, bruschetta, etc. It has been good, but it seems like there is more potential that I have not yet used it for. From the Wikipedia article it mentions Southeast Asian dishes and fish dishes, neither of which I cook very often.

The basil does have a very lemon taste and odor, so dishes that call for real lemon and basil would likely be a good fit. Any other ideas?


Lemon basil makes a delicious addition to lemonade. You can also throw it in salads - Serious Eats has a cucumber salad recipe that looks great, and it's an easy way to have a Southeast-Asian twist without going the traditional curry or soup route.

I've also found a couple of people with suggestions of how to use lemon basil:

My two cents is that you can add it to just about anything you think will be good; be creative! Personally, I am a big fan of adding herbs to my own sandwich creations when I can't think of anything better to do. It's a really simple way to jazz up a quick meal!

  • Try a (lemon-) basil and pineapple smoothie. You won't regret it. Didn't follow that link, but there's a variant on Som Tam (papaya salad) that uses cucumbers; it doesn't traditionally include basil, but maybe it should ... – hunter2 Jun 26 '13 at 8:03

I did the same as you, but because my sweet basil plant has not grown as well as I would like I have been using the Lemon basil in substitution for regular basil. I have made pesto and marinara sauce, and plan on making a sorbet with it.


I would use it to make any sauces that would go with a fish or chicken. A pesto sauce with it would be great. The lemon flavor and aroma would and a nice dimension to the pesto.


If you're looking for combinations of lemon and basil, I have been in love with a pasta dish using lemon, cream, parmesan and loads of basil. Would be wonderful with the lemon basil, I'm sure.


You can use it in Thai dishes.

I've used it before for green curries and in tom yum/tom kar gai and it was a nice addition.


I too have Lemon Basil and trying to figure out how to use it. Tonight I placed some lemon basil in olive oil and will be grilling some zucchini slices and making some pasta. I plan to drizzle a little bit of the olive oil over the top.

  • I forgot to add the oil over the top of the pasta but the grilled zucchini was wonderful. The lemon basil enhanced the sweet flavor of the grilled cherry tomatoes. (done on a george forman type grill). – Tammy Jun 26 '13 at 0:11
  • At the bottom of the page is a list of where to use lemon basil, it's the 3rd from bottom paragraph. vegetablegardener.com/item/3547/… – Tammy Jun 26 '13 at 14:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.